When HP first announced the TouchPad, the words “iPad killer” were whispered on a few sites previewing the device. That’s not unusual hyperbole in the tablet world, but HP had integrated Palm’s beloved WebOS onto the system, making it very user friendly.
Today, one month after releasing the TouchPad to retail, Hewlett Packard announced plans to discontinue the device – making it one of the most colossal failures in the tablet space.
HP, in a just-released statement, said it “will discontinue operations for webOS devices, specifically the TouchPad and webOS phones.” (That means the Pre cell phones are biting the dust as well.)
The TouchPad got so-so reviews upon its launch, but suffered from being a bit bulky and having a terrible marketing campaign, featuring Russell Brand and Glee star Lea Michelle. The troubles were telegraphed by reports that Best Buy was sitting on a tremendous unsold inventory of the devices and they began appearing on clearance site Woot.com
The collapse of HP’s WebOS division comes on reports that the company is considering spinning off its PC business. The company seemed to confirm this as well in its statement, saying it “plans to announce that its board of directors has authorized the exploration of strategic alternatives for its Personal Systems Group (PSG). HP will consider a broad range of options that may include, among others, a full or partial separation of PSG from HP through a spin-off or other transaction.”